Jump to content
thisleenoble

Variables / Data / Merge in Designer

Recommended Posts

I've found numerous topics on the subject of adding a mail merge feature to Publisher but couldn't see anything relating to Designer. Appreciating that Publisher might be the best place for it, I can't help thinking it would be an enormous benefit in Designer.

I've been producing flyers and posters for a local film club for years. I had templates set up in Pages and each quarter I would have to place the images, change the dates, print to PDF. convert to image, crop, zoom etc. I made it as efficient as I could in that program and it took a lot of initial effort to create the starting templates, so the thought of doing it all over again put me off for a while. This weekend I finally re-did the whole thing in Designer. Symbols are used throughout for the film posters and dates and QR codes and colours. I now have an artboard called Resources that contains all the base elements and compiled symbols:1309365773_ScreenShot2018-11-05at08_45_31.jpg.563758ae684b7c7ccae940cf4ac2efba.jpg

Then the other artboards contain separately the portrait and landscape posters as well as the quarterly season flyer:

436672648_ScreenShot2018-11-05at08_46_59.jpg.dbacbd817f1c0b80c2650f85460d41f4.jpg

All I have to do is modify the resources, drop new images into place and change the dates in the calendar, tick or untick the correct layer for the BBFC film rating, drop in a monochrome QR code and it's all done. I can hit one button to export all the posters and flyer and differently sized image slices for social media. What used to be in seven separate documents with a heavy post-process can now be done in literally minutes (hopefully - I'll find out next quarter).

However, I would LOVE the ability to have document variables. Variables that can be used in ANY input. Obvious initial examples would be for the film titles and dates. Also applicable to product ingredient lists and allergy warnings in other layouts. The colours used for each panel could also be document variables. At the moment I've just used a pair of squares swatches that are repeated as symbols and stretched to cover the spaces in the final layouts. Being able to define the colour in the palette dialog as [%COL_A%] and the accent as [%ACC_A%] would mean I could just change those variables in the document properties and have the whole theme change. There are loads of places where I could do this rather than have to use symbols and I think it's worth your consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2018 at 9:56 AM, thisleenoble said:

All I have to do is modify the resources, drop new images into place and change the dates in the calendar, tick or untick the correct layer for the BBFC film rating, drop in a monochrome QR code and it's all done. I can hit one button to export all the posters and flyer and differently sized image slices for social media. What used to be in seven separate documents with a heavy post-process can now be done in literally minutes (hopefully - I'll find out next quarter).

Hi @thisleenoble,

this is a very good example on how to use symbols effectively. Thank you for showing your method. I did something similar a while ago during the design of a CD booklet, only that I don't have the need to update the design quarterly :)

I support your request for variables or data merge but I assume it will take time to see this in AD.

Cheers,
d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.458)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×